Shortened URLs, also known as "short links," are typically used to redirect users to a longer, original URL. These shortened links are often used to make sharing long URLs more convenient, such as on social media platforms or in text messages. However, the use of shortened URLs does pose a security risk, as the user cannot tell where they will be directed when they click on the link.
One of the main security risks associated with shortened URLs is the potential for phishing attacks. By using a shortened URL, an attacker can conceal the true destination of the link, making it difficult for users to detect that they are being directed to a malicious website. Additionally, shortened URLs can be used to distribute malware or to steal personal information.
Another security risk associated with shortened URLs is that they can be easily manipulated. Shortened URLs are typically created using URL shortening services, which can be easily spoofed or hacked. If an attacker gains control of a URL shortening service, they can redirect users to malicious websites without their knowledge.
Given these security risks, many organizations teach their employees not to trust shortened URLs and to be cautious when clicking on them. Some organizations may also choose to block shortened URLs at their network gateway to prevent employees from accessing potentially dangerous websites.
While shortened URLs may be convenient for sharing links, they do pose a security risk. It is important to be cautious when clicking on shortened URLs, and to verify the authenticity of the link before visiting the website. And it is always a good practice to check the link before you click on it, as well as the website you are visiting.